HEPData 2.0: new technologies and services

Lead Research Organisation: Durham University
Department Name: Physics

Abstract

The successful interpretation of data from modern high-energy particle physics experiments is a complex process involving not only the actual measurement but also the input of a variety of theoretical or phenomenological models and processes, which, of course, rely on previous data. The HEPData project at the IPPP Durham will continue to compile HEP Experimental scattering data from particle physics experiments around the world and make these freely and openly available. It will keep these data easily accessible and thus promote them to a wider audience.

The data in HEPData allow, among others, the planning and interpretation of new measurements and the re-interpretation of older data in light of new findings, precision tests of theoretical models and the extraction of fundamental parameters or their limits, and the tuning and validation of simulation tools.

Through a better integration with Inspire, the central publication database of particle physics, HEPData will provide a vastly improved persistent open-access repository of published data, serving as the living memory of particle physics. HEPData will eventually become a formal member of the emerging INSPIRE collaboration, which currently consists of CERN, DESY, SLAC, FERMILAB and IHEP in China, and will thus represent the UK particle physics community in one aspect of the global data preservation strategy in particle physics.

One of the effects of this integration is that valuable time of the trained physicist managing HEPData will be freed for central and important aspects of data curation, for further developments and for a broadening of the scope of HEPData.
This will include extending the abilities of the new HEPdata-Inspire framework with respect to the old HEPData database, for instance by allowing the inclusion of supporting material that has not been part of the journal publication, by allowing cross linking with essential analysis software, thus providing a more integrated vision for data persistence, and by adding other modes and formats for data submission by the experimenters. In addition, we plan to broaden the scope of HEPData, to incorporate also data from particle decays or low-energy or astro-particle experiments, and to include also data relevant for the construction of detector simulation. Providing a repository for such data will also be useful for other fields of science, such as material science, space science, or medical physics.

HEPDATA will also continue to provide a server for Parton Distribution Function (PDF) codes and maintain and improve facilities for plotting them. It will take part in developing and maintaining LHAPDF, the new library of PDFs for use in current and future analyses.

Planned Impact

Our research has a wide range of potential beneficiaries, including:

- Academics and other researchers : experimental and theoretical particle physics communities in the UK and Internationally. More generally this category extends beyond particle physics and includes computer scientists, astronomers and mathematical physicists. Through our public lectures on campus, it also includes university students within and outside the Science Faculty.
In the long term, HepData envisages to also include various other low-energy particle physics data, such as particle-nucleus collision data that have been instrumental in constructing detectors and detector simulations like Geant4. We anticipate that this kind of data will be useful for other fields of science, such as medical physics.

- Schools: pupils and teachers. We organise annual Masterclass events for local schoolchildren and their teachers; workshops for teachers to strengthen science teaching based on discussions of recent advances in particle physics and astronomy. HEPData is a freely available resource for information and education.

- General Public: to bring the wonder and excitement of cutting-edge science using the LHC as a particularly powerful example. It is used to encourage and inspire people to study science and as a result leads to advances in science and technology far beyond particle physics.

- Business, Industry, Public and Private Sectors: IPPP staff, including HEPData personnel, are fully engaged in teaching of undergraduate and postgraduate students at Durham University. Apart from usual lectures and tutorials, each year we supervise individually more than a dozen of year-4 undergraduate students doing research projects on particle physics. After leaving the University these students will be able to use their skills acquired in first-hand learning about cutting-edge particle physics research for wider benefits of society. Postgraduate students trained by us and working on these research projects, also provide a significant and valuable contribution to society.

Publications


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